Varietal: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Producer: Pascal Laffourcade
The prestigious and tiny appellation of Quarts de Chaume, a diminutive AOC in the heart of the Loire Valley’s Chenin Blanc territory, has been associated with the name Laffourcade for the past five decades. Devoted entirely to the production of sweet wine, Quarts de Chaume, which comprises terroirs on both banks of the Layon River, sits on approximately 43 hectares of land, 19 of which, came to André Laffourcade in 1958. In 1970, Pascal Laffourcade launched an ambitious project. Already a mainstay in the tiny and prestigious appellation of Quarts de Chaume, he decided to create wines from the two other most sought-after Chenin crus of the Anjou region: Bonnezeaux and Savennières. Laffourcade acquired his Bonnezeaux property, Chateau Perray Jouannet shortly thereafter and added the eponymous Savennières vignoble in 1988.
A favored enclave within the sweet wine appellation of Coteaux du Layon (more specifically within the commune of Chaume), Quarts de Chaume maintains strict legal regulations for its wines of Pineau de la Loire (Chenin). Grapes must be passerillé or affected by noble rot. If the must has a minimum sugar content of 323 g/l and no chaptalization is used, only 11% alcohol is required. Chateau de l’Echarderie sits on 10 hectares of brown schist and sandstone soils. Slopes face south/southeast (toward the morning mist of the Layon) to ensure the best conditions for growth of Botrytis Cinerea.
Situated 15 km south of the Loire River, Chateau Perray Jouannet provided seasonal residence for the bishops of Angers when the iron-rich waters of Chavagnes were celebrated and taken for their healing powers in the middle ages. Situated on 20 hectares of schist soils mixed with the more unusual element of quartz, this Bonnezeaux property features pristine southern exposure slopes for its Chenin. The remaining property is planted to Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon which when blended produce lively, mineral-driven Anjou rouge and rosé of distinction. Excellent when chilled.
Vignobles Laffourcade, the final prong of the Laffourcade triumvirate, is seated right on the banks of the Loire River, and almost at the city limit of Angers. This property is the largest of the three, encompassing close to 100 hectares under vine. Clos de la Royauté, Pascale’s single vineyard Savennières site, comprises only 5 of these hectares.